It’s time to say goodbye to what have been some key members of the Microsoft certification family for the past five years. Official retirement date for the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 and MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2 certifications is January 31, 2014.
Since they are based on foundational technology for Microsoft IT professionals, achieving an MCITP credential for Server 2008 has probably been on the professional to-do list of many technology practitioners. On one hand, this looming retirement means you still have a bit of time to get your certification for this venerable workhorse server platform. On the other, if you don’t have time to complete the final requirements, you do have some great options: MCSA: Windows Server 2008 and MCSA: Windows Server 2012!
If you are headed down the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator path and already have Exam 70-640 (Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring) and Exam 70-642 (Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring) under your belt, all you need to do is pick up Exam 70-646 (Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator) and then leap forward to Exam 70-417 (Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012). With those two exams (70-646 and 70-417), you’ll be able to bring yourself up to date and prepare for the new Microsoft ecosystem for the coming years.
I say “Microsoft ecosystem” because the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 is the foundational and gateway certification for most of the new MCSE certifications this decade, outside of SQL Server. Whether you’re interested in Exchange, SharePoint, Lync Server, the private cloud, or Server and Desktop infrastructure, all roads lead through MCSA: Windows Server 2012! And, Windows Server 2012 has been getting rave reviews for its R2 release and built-in virtualization capabilities.
While Windows Server 2012 is a substantial update from Server 2008, a lot of your basic administration skills carry over into the new platform. The upgrade exam provides a shortcut on your path to Windows Server 2012 certification. When one door closes, another one opens, right?
While it may be a bit sad to say goodbye to the MCITP: Windows Server 2008 certifications, in the overall certification roadmap, it’s just a slight detour to Windows Server 2012 rather than a dead end.